Wednesday, September 16, 2020

21,000 Years in Sundaland

 Watch Sundaland disappear under the sea over the centuries in this great animation.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Real History: Mysterious carvings and evidence of human sacrifice uncovered in ancient city

Take a look at these carvings and guess where they were made. Mexico? Guatemala? Perhaps Peru?

Actually this is from a massive ruin in Northern China, estimated to be more than 4,000 years old. 

Read more about this fascinating new discovery here: 

National Geographic: Mysterious carvings and evidence of human sacrifice uncovered in ancient city

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Elephant Queens & Tiger Kings - 3: Journey to the Lowlands

I wake up with a jolt, for a moment I've forgotten where I am. But it all comes flooding back to me. The sinking boat, the escape into the forest and the violent encounter with one of the boatsmen. 

Auko is already awake, squatting under the shelter we made. 

"You were restless in your sleep. Did you have bad dreams?"

I can't remember what I dreamt about but I know I'm not as rested as I would like to be. 

But survival is at stake and it's time to find our way to the City of Pearls. We know that if we follow the river we should be able to get within its realm and hopefully there will be people to guide us the rest of the day.

It will be hard to follow right along the river bank because the forest grows dense along the water, but we should be able to gauge our general direction by following the undulations of the ground with it's gentle slope towards the water.

I trigger the Gather Information move and roll +Wits (+2).

Action Die, Roll 1d6 + Wits (3) = 3 + 2 for a total of 5.
Challenge Dice, Roll 2d6 = 1 and 4.

A Strong Hit, the way forward is clear and I gain +2 momentum.

We find the river nearby and get a feel for the lay of the land. We  set out with confidence.

Undertake Journey (Dangerous): 2 Progress per Waypoint. So we need 5 successes to reach the city (although we can try our luck at an earlier point). 

I roll with Wits.

Action Die, Roll 1d6 + Wits (2) = 6 + 2 for a total of 8.
Challenge Dice, Roll 2d6 = 10 and 5.

A Weak Hit. We reach a waypoint (2 out of 10 Progress) but suffer -1 supply.

We set out with confidence periodically checking to see if we are following the river as best we can. We travel all day with no issue because the rainforest floor is quite clear of plants and ferns. However we are hungry and eat some of the fruit we gathered before. We need to find some more food and it won't be easy without proper tools. We grew up in this type of environment but it takes time to make a spear or bow and time isn't something we have.

I roll for Resupply with Wits.

Action Die, Roll 1d6 + Wits (2) = 2 + 2 for a total of 4.
Challenge Dice, Roll 2d6 = 1 and 5.

I burn my momentum resetting it to +2 in order to get a Strong Hit. This gives us +2 supply for a total of 3.

Auko and I keep our eyes open and we are in luck as we find...

I roll on the Food Staples, Fruit and Plant Resources tables found here Plant, Animal, Mineral and other Resources of Sundaland

...Lotus stems, Longan (a Lychee like fruit) and Cusur nuts (candlenuts). We have enough to feed our stomachs and some leftover which we carry in improvised satchels made from large leaves.

We rest for the night and continue on our journey the next day.

Undertake Journey, Roll with Wits.

Action Die, Roll 1d6 + Wits (2) = 5 + 2 for a total of 7.
Challenge Dice, Roll 2d6 = 2 and 4.

A Strong Hit. We reach another waypoint (4 out of 10 Progress). 

I'll ask the Oracle to help me envisage what is happening. 

Location Oracle: Hill 

We notice a steepening incline as we travel. But with no way to closely follow the river bank we must climb the hill in order to continue. Perhaps we'll be able to use this opportunity to get a view of the area.

When we reach the crest of the hill I decide to try and climb into a tree and see if I can get a better view of the surroundings. I'm fairly agile so I'm confident I'll be able to do this safely.

Face Danger, Roll with Edge.

Action Die, Roll 1d6 + Edge (3) = 5 + 3 for a total of 8.
Challenge Dice, Roll 2d6 = 7 and 10.

A Weak Hit and not enough Momentum to burn! I succeed but face a troublesome cost. Out of the options I'll choose to Suffer -1 Momentum (I only have 1 Momentum now) and envision a delay, loss of advantage or new danger.

I ask the Oracle: Clash and Spirit.

It sounds like Auko and I might get into an argument.

I climb the tree with ease as far as I can, scaring a variety of birds and monkeys as I go. Auko shouts up to me to look if I can see where the land ends and the sky seems to come down further than it should. I don't really understand what he means but in any case I can only see the forest stretch out towards the horizon and he river snaking along into the distance.

Auko seems to get frustrated and keeps asking me if I can see water that stretches into the horizon but I don't quite understand what he means. Eventually he calls for me to come down where I see he has become somewhat despondent.

"I thought we would be closer to the big water by now. That's where the city is. I thought we could see it from here."

I'm confused asking him to clarify what he means by big water, a river?

"No the big water is where all the rivers lead to, it goes to the horizon and encircles the world."

I'm still not sure what to make of this.

Auko starts muttering to himself and starts pacing around in circles.

"Maybe we should go back, maybe we can find the other and plead for forgiveness. I don't think we can make it on our own after all!"

I'm going to have to try and calm him down.

I roll Compel + Heart (1)

Action Die, Roll 1d6 + Heart (1) = 3 + 1 for a total of 4.
Challenge Dice, Roll 2d6 = 6 and 1.

A Weak Hit. They'll do what I want and I get +1 Momentum but they ask something of me in return.

I manage to calm Auko down by reminding him how good he has been at getting this far and how the forest can provide all the food and water we need as long as we remember what our elders taught us. 

This seems to satisfy him somewhat but he makes me promise him to...

Ask the Oracle: Seize, Prize help him raise his status to that of the highest chiefs because I owe him my life. I don't quite understand the request but will say anything to get him to calm down.

Satisfied that we will continue in the present direction we head onwards.

Undertake Journey, Roll with Wits.

Action Die, Roll 1d6 + Wits (2) = 3 + 2 for a total of 5.
Challenge Dice, Roll 2d6 = 7 and 3.

A Weak Hit. Reach a Waypoint (6 out of 10 Progress) and suffer -1 Supply (we are at +2).

We journey for another full day, aside from the occasional light rain and humidity the conditions are fair. We make shelter for the night again.

BTW I'm not using the Make Camp move every night of this journey because the terrain is the same and we're both familiar with living in these type of surroundings.

Undertake Journey, Roll with Wits.

Action Die, Roll 1d6 + Wits (2) = 5 + 2 for a total of 7.
Challenge Dice, Roll 2d6 = 3 and 8.

A Weak Hit. We reach a Waypoint +2 Progress (8 out 10 Progress), -1 Supply.

The environment is starting to change. Something that I didn't appreciate from the top of the hill is that the trees are smaller here, and there are occasionally clearings and open areas where the sun can shine down. Perhaps we are reaching the edge of the forest?

I'm going to make the Reach Your Destination move. Although I think we still have some way to go to reach the city I think we might be entering its sphere of influence. 

Progress on the Journey is 8 out of 10. I roll 1 4 and a 9, which is a Weak Hit. We arrive but face an unforseen hazard or complication.

I'm not going to ask the Oracle this time since I have a rough idea of what happening.

As we make our journey we realise that the clearings are manmade, these are the remnants of slashing and burning. A way to create areas for living and working. It's likely that we are entering an area that inhabited by people. 

Just at the moment I become aware of this, I hear a threatening voice call out to us.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Real History: Sacbe Roads

The Maya connected their cities with sacbe(s), or white road(s). Some were elevated as much as 15 feet above the surrounding topography. Using satellite imagery we can now see that hundreds of miles of these roads existed throughout Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and parts of the Honduras.

I imagine that much of the landscape of Sundaland to be similar to the Yucatan peninsula; jungles, savannahs, swamps and marshes. 

While the majority of travel is likely to be on the rivers it may sometimes be necessary for cultures to build roads where a well followed trail is not sufficient. The Maya built these raised, long and straight roads between plazas and temples and sometimes hundreds of kilometres to other settlements.

In construction, the sacbe is like a long platform. Side retaining walls of roughly dressed stone enclose a roadbed filled with uncut boulders, leveled with gravel, and paved with liberal quantities of sascab — powdered limestone, a natural cement that hardens with water and pressure.  The roadbed is higher in its center to allow drainage, and in some places the builders applied a finishing coat of smooth lime stucco.  Lime cement, of which few traces remain, held the side walls together.  Villa Rojas observed that many of the dressed stones had been taken away for use in more recent walls and buildings.  He found evidence of quarries near the sacbe, doubtless the sources of construction material. 

Consider the enormous amount of labor required to build and maintain the sacbe. The workers were probably corvée labor crews performing the short-term periodic services required of citizens, like faenas for members of an ejido in recent times.  They dug the construction material with hafted stone tools, carried it in baskets, and burned limestone to make lime for cement and stucco. 

We marvel at the size of the monumental pyramids at Maya sites, but the volume of stone in this sacbe is twenty-five times greater than that of the Castillo at Chichén Itzá.  
Scholars have determined that constructing one cubic meter of stone and rubble masonry at the time required at least twelve man-days work, about equally divided between digging and transporting material, manufacturing and transporting lime, and doing the actual construction.  (This does not count the time for planning, traveling, and clearing the land.)  For this sacbe, the math works out to 500 men working for 50 years, a huge effort, but within the scope of the possible.


Read more about the scope and purpose of these roads, which went beyond practical considerations in this very interesting article: Yucatan's First Highway

And of course the Wikipedia entry: Wikipedia: Sacbe Roads

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Elephant Queens & Tiger Kings - 2: The Inciting Incident

Read the first post where I set the scene: Elephant Queens & Tiger Kings - 1: Creating the World

Last time I said I was going to roll up some factions but I've decided to start the action outside of the city. So I'll create a character and jump right into the game.

I'm using the free game IronSworn RPG which can be played in solo mode. I'll play the rules as written, (although I should really substitute Bronze for Iron!). I'll also bring in other resources to help run the game as and when I see fit.

My character is named Kiakro and his stats are

Edge: 3 (Quickness, agility and prowess in ranged combat)
Heart: 1 (Courage, willpower, empathy, sociability, and loyalty)
Iron: 2 (Physical strength, endurance, aggressiveness, and prowess in close combat)
Shadow: 1 (Sneakiness, deceptiveness, and cunning)
Wits: 2 (Expertise, knowledge and observation)

I've decided my three starting assets are: Skirmisher (Spear handling), Waterborn (Knowledge of watercraft and travel) and Herbalist (Healing with herbal remedies)

I'm also adding the optional Fortune Hunter asset from the Delve supplement to track wealth. Sword & Sorcery settings often have protagonists who wish to enrich themselves so this asset will add to the atmosphere of the game.

That's it for now, let's play to find out what happens.


I wake up from a slap to the face. My friend Auko is looking down on me, a relieved smile on his face. I'm soaking wet, bruised and aching but otherwise unscathed. All I remember is a loud crash and our boat coming to a sudden halt. A breach in the hull, and a rush of water meant all had to abandon the craft. 

Thank the gods that we weren't tied to our benches as so many rowers are. It was every man for himself, diving into the water and swimming for their lives. I can't even remember getting to the shore, but here I am, lying on a small rocky beach.

"We've got to get moving, this is our chance for freedom" Auko says.

There were 20 people in total on the boat. 10 rowers and the others consisted of the owners and some merchants. I wonder how many survived int total?

Roll 1d20. Result: 13 survivors. Including myself and Auko. 

How many are rowers? Roll 1d10. Result: 3.

I'll decide that Auko and myself are the only people to be seen at the river bank right now, but the other survivors might come into play later.

Auoko helps me to my feet, we can see the boat some way off, one side raised in the air as it's taking on water. It must have struck a rock or perhaps a large tree trunk just below the surface. We hear some calls, it's time to escape into the jungle.

Face Danger with speed and agility (Edge).

Action Die, Roll 1d6 + Edge (3) = 3 + 3 for a total of 6.
Challenge Dice, Roll 2d6 = 4 and 4.

That's a strong hit and an opportunity because of the matching challenge dice.

I get +1 momentum

We are lucky to be so close to the trees and within moments we crash our way through the undergrowth into darkness of the forest. It doesn't seem like anybody saw us.

If we can sneak away from the other survivors without leaving a trail, then the others will assume we didn't make it out of the river alive.

Secure an Advantage with deception, stealth or trickery.

Action Die, Roll 1d6 + Shadow (1) = 2 + 3 for a total of 3.
Challenge Dice, Roll 2d6 = 7 and 2.

A weak hit for a short lived advantage, +1 momentum.

We do our best to sneak off through the forest without leaving a trail, but after a little while we hear shouts behind us. It seems that if we're not careful we'll be found and caught. I look around to see if there's some way we can hide or otherwise lose our pursuers.

Gather Information with Wits.

Action Die, Roll 1d6 + Wits (2) = 4 + 2 for a total of 6.
Challenge Dice, Roll 2d6 = 7 and 4.

The information complicates your quest or introduces a new danger, +1 momentum.

I'm not sure what the complication is so I roll on the Aspect and Focus oracle tables.  89, Dead and 2, Attack. 

We're running across the forest floor when we see a figure up ahead, it's one of the men from the boat. He must have been carried further down river before coming ashore. He's clutching his side which is bleeding profusely. It doesn't looks like he will live much longer but he's standing in our way and is calling out to the others that he's found some runaways. I decide I need to take him out so I run towards him and attempt to roughly tackle him to the ground.

Normally he'd be a Troublesome foe which would take me 3 hits take down. But because he's outnumbered and so badly injured I think it will just take 2 to fill up his damage track after which I can attempt to end the fight.

Enter the Fray with Heart.

Action Die, Roll 1d6 + Heart (1) = 2 + 1 for a total of 3.
Challenge Dice, Roll 2d6 = 4 and 3.

That's a miss but I decide to burn momentum to get a Strong hit and to get the Initiative. My momentum resets to +2 but because of the Strong Hit I get +2 raising my total momentum to +4.

I launch myself at the man and tackle him to the ground, I start punching him with all my might, aiming for his bleeding side as much as I can. 

Strike with Iron.

Action Die, Roll 1d6 + Iron (2) = 6 + 2 for a total of 3.
Challenge Dice, Roll 2d6 = 7 and 9.

A Weak Hit. I inflict damage but I lose initiative.

I get some good punches into the side of his chest which cause him to scream out in pain, but I can't get a good grasp on him. He wriggles out from under me and starts flailing at me.

Clash with Iron.

Action Die, Roll 1d6 + Iron (2) = 1 + 2 for a total of 3.
Challenge Dice, Roll 2d6 = 2 and 2.

Strong Hit with an Opportunity.

I manage to get close to him and land more punches into his bleeding side, Auko rushes up behind him and muffles his mouth preventing him from crying out.

End the Fight. As mentioned earlier because he we was outnumbered and already dying I decided it would only take two hits to fill out his damage track (10 out of 10). 

Roll 2d6: 5 and 3.

A strong hit.

Auko wraps his arm around the man's neck and squeezes until his body slumps to the ground. We hide him in the undergrowth as the calls of his friends draw closer. If we can make a run for it now we should be able to lose them in the vastness of the forest.

Secure and Advantage with Edge

Action Die, Roll 1d6 + Edge (3) = 3 + 3 for a total of 6.
Challenge Dice, Roll 2d6 = 6 and 2.

Weak Hit. We succeed but face a cost. I choose to Endure Stress, -1 to spirit to leave me at +4 Spirit.

Make the Endure Stress move.

Action Die, Roll 1d6 + Spirit (4) = 6 + 4 for a total of 10.
Challenge Dice, Roll 2d6 = 3 and 4.

Strong Hit. I choose to embrace the darkness and get +1 momentum bringing me to 5 momentum.

Auko and I escape into the forest and the calls of the boatsmen is soon drowned out by the cacophony of the birds. I've been running on adrenaline for the past couple of hours and the fact that I had to wrestle with a man for my life and freedom has left me somewhat shaken. 

As we walk we keep a look out for fruit or other edible plants. 

Resupply with Wits.

Action Die, Roll 1d6 + Wits (2) = 3 + 2 for a total of 5.
Challenge Dice, Roll 2d6 = 2 and 9.

A Weak Hit which means we can take +2 supply in exchange for 2 momentum (down to 3).

I have a d20 table with a list of fruits that I roll on (Plant, Animal, Mineral and other Resources of Sundaland). 2 and 15.

We find some Bay Berries and Rambutan. It's already dark under the jungle canopy but we can tell night is approaching so we decide to make a rudimentary shelter with some branches and large leaves.

Make Camp with Supply

Action Die, Roll 1d6 + Supply (2) = 6 + 2 for a total of 8.
Challenge Dice, Roll 2d6 = 4 and 3.

Strong Hit. I choose to take +1 Spirit bringing me back to 5 and +1 momentum bringing me up to 3.

As we build our shelter we discuss our plans for the next day. Our boat was headed down the river towards the sea and from there along the coast towards the City of Pearls. I've never been there but Auko has and he believes that is still in our best interest to head there. If we travel by river it should take us a couple of days to get there. 

We take turns to sleep while the other holds watch. As I drift off I remember the stories I've heard of the riches of the City of Pearls. I vow to reach the famed city and build a new life for myself there.

Swear a Vow.

Action Die, Roll 1d6 + Heart (1) = 4 + 1 for a total of 5.
Challenge Dice, Roll 2d6 = 1 and 7.

Weak Hit. I'm determined but begin the quest with more questions than answers take +1 momentum.

I decide the Vow and Journey rank will both be Dangerous.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Real History: What Was The Indus Valley Civilisation?

A great overview of the Indus valley civilisation, also known as the Harappan civilisation that existed at the same time as the ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia cultures.

Elephant Queens & Tiger Kings - 1: Creating the World

I'm going to write about playing a solo game using the free IronSworn rules in the Sundaland setting. I don't expect I will be writing complete fiction but there will be some narration to go along with the dice rolls and I'll be explicit about all the resources that I use to create the world and drive the game. IronSworn is a game that is partly influenced by Apocalypse World and  has narrative tracking mechanic built in, which means that even a description of the rolls and results will provide a description of the action.

Today I will start with choosing options from the Sundaland Workbook to set the scene of the world I'm going to explore. Further details will be fleshed out as I play.

Each section has 3 options to choose from, but for brevity I've only written out the one I've chosen as well as the accompanying plot hook.


Gods and Religion

People worship many different gods. Most religions are polytheistic but even the monotheists don’t deny the existence of other gods, just that theirs favours them in particular or is the most powerful above all others.

2. The gods exist but their direct impact on the world is limited. They work through mysterious ways. Communication with them is difficult to achieve and the results are often ambiguous and open to interpretation. Who is able to communicate with the gods and how do they do it? What are their messages and intentions for mortals?

Quest starter: The lands have not been yielding as before and the people fear the gods have abandoned their leaders. The people grow restless and some are openly questioning the ability of the elites to rule. What is the reason for poor yields and what can be done about it? Can the people be convinced that the gods still favour the rulers?


2. Magic is something that a select few have access to under the right circumstances or with the right knowledge and resources. Even then the results are not consistent or definitely identifiable as magic. Perhaps it is dangerous and maybe it corrupts those who indulge in its practice. What are the necessary conditions for magic to happen? What do the results look like? How does it affect the practitioner and the world?

Quest starter: A totem has gone missing from the temple and the priests are certain that calamity will befall the city if it is not found soon. What has happened to it and can it recovered before it's too late?

Human Species

Homo Sapiens Sapiens are not the first Homo species to arrive in Sundaland. Other species like the Homo Denisova and Homo Floresiensis inhabited the land before we arrived.

2. Our species rarely interacts with other types of humans since they are low in number. We are out competing them in many areas and it seems it won’t be long before we become the dominant type. However we have much to learn from them if we’re willing to. What special knowledge or abilities do other species of humans possess? Are they willing to share those or are they intent on keeping them to themselves? If the latter, what could persuade them to share?

Quest starter: A group of the "others" has entered our territory but it's unclear what their intentions are. The local people are weary and would rather they move on. What do the newcomers want and can they be convinced to move on?

Technology Level

I imagine that cultures will each be at a different level of technology, with some remaining as hunter-gatherers while others develop in a different direction. There’s also the possibility that cultures lose knowledge and regress in sophistication due to wars or natural disasters. This section described the average technology level for your setting.

I’ve left the question of the domestication of rice as a separate matter for now because it has such a big impact on the world. Rice farming is very labour intensive and requires a lot of planning and cooperation which necessarily requires or leads to more complex social structures. The current scientific consensus is that rice wasn’t domesticated until 13,500 - 8000 years ago in China. But you could imagine that rice was domesticated in Sundaland and then spread around the region after the floods.

1. Bronze Age

People have learned to cast bronze tools and weapons using copper and tin. Sources of food are early forms of horticulture (gardening) and agriculture (farming) supplemented by fishing, hunting and gathering. Some plants and animals are in the early stages of domestication. Examples of technologies include the plow, soap, oil lamps, rope and the wheel.

Writing has been invented but very few people are literate. Astronomical knowledge may be quite advanced with some cultures building monuments that reflect knowledge of precession, equinoxes and various planetary alignments.

Boats consist of various types of canoes and catamarans powered by oars or using sails such as the Crab Claw Sail. Commerce is facilitated through barter and various non-coin currencies. Coin currencies may be in use by some cultures but it’s not widespread or standardised. Most people live in wooden buildings but temples, forts and palaces are built with stone.

Quest starter: A nearby culture has advanced knowledge of the stars and their motions. This knowledge could be useful for your people so you've been tasked with acquiring their secrets by any means necessary.

Status and Hierarchy

Civilisation allows for the division of labour and role specialisation which can lead to the formation of class and caste structures, often hierarchical in nature. Each class or caste ranks in rights, power, wealth and status but there doesn't necessarily have to be a correlation between each of these. Some classes or castes might have a lot of status but no wealth or vice versa.

3. Your culture has a loose social structure with a lot of opportunity for social mobility which is either inbuilt or due to external circumstances (war, natural disasters, depopulation etc.). This is a dynamic social environment with both positive and negative consequences. The risks are are great but so are the opportunities. Why is the society of your culture not as stratified as others? Has it always been this way or did this situation come about recently? What are the challenges and opportunities?

Quest starter: Your extended family has been accused of shirking its duties and is in danger of losing respect amongst your fellow citizens. What is the accusation, who is making it and what can be done to restore the families' honour?


2. There are numerous towns and city-states. The world is still a dangerous place but well prepared groups can explore far from civilisation. What are the incentives for venturing out into the wild?

Quest starter: It is time for your people to expand their domain so you've been sent out as part of an expedition to identify a site for a new settlement. Can you find somewhere your people can prosper and grow?


2. Some resources are scarce. Each culture has the basics of what they need but there are a couple of key things they need to acquire from outside sources. Sometimes those resources can be acquired through trade or exploration other times through raiding or conquest. Which resources are in need by particular cultures? Are they in need of food staples, luxury goods or strategically important materials such as tin and copper? What happens when a resource restrictions happens? How are conflicts over resources resolved?

Quest starter: There are rumours that a new tin deposit has been discovered in hills several days away. It is necessary for the production of bronze and could give your city the advantage over rivals. You've been sent with a scouting party to find out if the rumours are true and secure the site for your people.


3. Economies are interlinked and reliant on each other in a complex web of trade. Cultures have become specialised in what they produce. Everything from food to luxury resources are traded back and forth. A broken link in the chain could cause a cascading collapse of heavily interdependent economies. Which resources are most important to keeping the system going? Are there particular resources that are becoming scarce or about to be restricted in some way? What will the outcome of that be?

Quest starter: You are part of a trade envoy to another city state. The goods you transport are highly valuable and rivals are afraid the gift will upset the balance of power in the region. What is your envoy carrying and what are the implications if the mission succeeds?


2. The land experiences intermittent or ritual warfare. If there is a cold war of sorts then there are small skirmishes and conflicts erupting all the time. Things are in a precarious balance between the various factions that each strive for an advantage. How do the factions try to secure an advantage? Are they willing to risk an escalation? What are the potential rewards for the victors? What could change the balance of power between the factions?

Quest starter: Warriors from a rival city state have been spotted in our territory. You've been sent out to investigate the situation. Is this a planned incursion, have strayed into our territory by mistake or were they driven here for some reason?

Ice-Age Megafauna

2. Occasionally explorers and travellers encounter large animals and monsters far from civilisation. Is there any value in hunting or capturing these animals? What are the rewards? Do they threaten civilisation in any way? Are they likely to multiply in numbers or die out?

Quest starter: The animals of a local village have all been killed overnight and the villagers fear they will be next. They plead to the leaders of your city to find the culprit and end the danger that besieges them.


1. The tides are regular and predictable allowing settlements to exist safely along the rivers and coasts. Is there competition for the available living space? Are there any constraints on available resources? Are there any outside forces that seek to take advantage of this stability?

Quest starter: A group of sea gypsies has moved into the area. They are putting a strain on the local resources but insist they have no where else to go. Can you find a solution to their predicament before the locals take things into their own hands?

Elder Beings and Species

Elder beings originate from beyond space and time, older even than the gods and perhaps more powerful. Elder species are intelligent non-humans that developed culture and technology before any kind of human set foot in Sundaland.

2. Elder beings and species were banished from this world or mostly killed off in ancient times. They seek entrance or ascendance. For elder beings: How do they manifest in our world? How do they communicate their will and with whom? What is their ultimate goal? For elder species: What are they? Where do they live? What do they want? How will they go about getting that?

Quest starter: A previously dormant volcano has started emitting smoke again. The priests believe that dark forces are working to open up the gates to the netherworld. Is someone or something responsible, and if so, how can they be stopped?


In my next post I'll roll up some factions so that there are some chess pieces on the board as it were, so there are some other active participants in the world to bounce off.